Mominul, Shanto tons help Tigers stay on top | The Daily Star
12:19 PM, April 22, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:18 PM, April 22, 2021

Mominul, Shanto tons help Tigers stay on top

Bangladesh at 440 for four at Tea

The two overnight batsmen -- Najmul Hossain Shanto and skipper Mominul Haque -- reached landmark scores and stitched together a record partnership before departing to help the Tigers stay on top on the second day of their first Test against Sri Lanka at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy today. However, the scoring rate plunged since the departure of the duo in the second session of the game. 

Bangladesh went for Tea at 440 for four with Mushfiqur Rahim unbeaten on 22 and Liton Das on 12.  

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Earlier in the session, skipper Mominul fell prey to Dhananjaya de Silva as the left-hander edged one to the first slip while trying to drive a flighted outside off delivery that turned away from the left-hander. He walked off after a remarkable 304-ball 127.

It was Mominul's first Test ton outside the country. It was also his 11th Test ton with all of the previous 10 centuries scored at home. 

While the left-hander's records at home have been phenomenal -- averaging above 55 in 25 matches played at home -- his ability to score runs away from home has often been questioned. However, Mominul, who made his Test debut back in March, 2013, finally got the taste of scoring a century overseas when he struck spinner Dhananjaya de Silva for a boundary in the morning session. An outside off quicker from Dhananjaya and Mominul created a bit of room for himself and played a drive past the backward point fielder for a boundary to bring up his 100 off 224 deliveries.  

Both Mominul and Najmul stitched together Bangladesh's highest partnership for the third wicket before being dismissed. Shanto, after batting for almost a Day and half, mistimed a Lahiru Kumara delivery and gave away an easy return catch to the bowler shortly after Lunch today. The catch brought an end to an astounding 378-ball 163, laced with 17 boundaries and a maximum.

However, the 22-year-old Najmul's 242-run third-wicket stand with skipper Mominul is now Bangladesh's highest partnership for the third wicket in Tests. It is also Bangladesh's third-highest partnership away from home for any wicket.    

Najmul, who reached his maiden Test ton on the opening day, went past the 150-run mark with a boundary off a Dhananjaya delivery before Lunch.

Earlier, starting the day at 302 for two, both overnight batsmen -- skipper Mominul and Shanto -- looked solid as they negotiated the Lankan bowlers with authority.  

But, with a hint of movement off the deck on offer in the first hour of the Day, the Sri Lankan pacers maintained a relatively better channel than they did in the morning yesterday as they induced a few inside and outside edges with a few even beating the outside edges of the bats of Shanto and Mominul. 

However, other than those rare chances, both Mominul and Shanto played the Lankan bowlers with ease and authority, driving on the up and resisting their temptation to play at anything outside their bodies as the Tigers went to Lunch unscathed. 


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